I've been tearing pages out of Previews of things I've wanted to post here for four months or so now, but Assorted Factors have kept me from posting them until now. Some of these have been out for weeks or even months now; some won't be out until May. So now, in the order they are piled up on my desk (which is no order at all), here 's another batch of Spiritual Solicitations!
Solicitation links courtesy of Comixology, from whom Diamond could learn a thing or two about presentation!
Jesus Christ: In the Name of the Gun
Bad Karma Productions
Written by Eric Peterson and Ethan Nicolle, art by Ethan Nicolle
Jesus Hates Zombies. Loaded Bible: Jesus vs. Vampires. Jesus Christ: Vampire Hunter. And now, Jesus Christ: In the Name of the Gun. One wonders if the creators of edgy, irreverent comics about a butt-kicking Jesus know about the Christian men's movement, which is basically this minus the "edgy" and "irreverent"? In any event, I blame Garth Ennis. (Garth Ennis has been responsible for a lot of unfortunate things lately...)
Pandora Box Vol. 1: Pride
Written by Alcante, art by Didier Pagot
This is the first volume in a seven-part series about Greek mythology and the seven deadly sins; the "Pride" volume involves mysterious conspiracies, cloning, and the dangers of hubristic technology. I'm intrigued-- but not twelve bucks worth of intrigued, alas.
The Wolverton Bible
Art by Basil Wolverton; Introduction by Grant Geissman
Now this is exciting. Basil Wolverton, the delightfully deranged mind behind some of the strangest SF comics of the Golden Age and the most grotesque material from the early Mad Magazine, "was also a deeply religious man who over two decades created over 550 drawings illustrating the Old Testament." Awesome. But the real prize here may be 20 images illustrating the Book of Revelation, which must look pretty darned interesting through Wolverton's eyes. (But minus 10 points from Fantagraphics for calling it "Revelations" in their catalog copy!) I never would have guessed Wolverton was a closet Doré, but as someone who's a fan of the weird, the religious, and the weird religious, it's more than welcome news.
Fantagraphics has made the book's introduction available online; you can read it here.
American Jesus Vol. 1: Chosen
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Mark Millar, art by Peter Gross
This is a collection of Millar's 2004 miniseries Chosen, which presents the story of a young messiah as a sort of origin story for a teen superhero. The book was an enormous missed opportunity-- but I can't say why without spoiling the ending. (I will say that "spoil" is an appropriate term when describing this story: the ending completely spoils what should have been a great story. It's still worth reading, but I can only really endorse the first two-thirds.) I've been hoping to write something about it here to expand on what I wrote in The Gospel According to Science Fiction, and now it looks like I may have good reason to-- that "Volume One" in the title makes it virtually certain that Millar will be returning to the young savior soon. I'll hold of saying more for now, but I will have more to say on this soon.
Missing the Boat
Written by Wayne Chinsant and Justin Shady, art by Dwellephant
The subtitle of this cute-looking tale is "The Offered Salvation and Inevitable Demise of the Churamane." The Churamane are a lazy species of animal that are invited aboard Noah's Ark, but arrive too late and are doomed to extinction in the Flood. Sounds fun, right?
Dark Horse Comics
Written by Michael Avon Oeming and Taki Soma; art by Michael Avon Oeming
The Rapture is about as overused an idea as butt-kicking Jesus (see above). But I really, really like this take: this series, helmed by Powers artist and all-around cool guy Oeming, takes place in a superhero world from which all the superheroes and villains have vanished. After a century of good and evil battling it out in public, just-plain-folks are left to sort out their confusing world. What happens when the gods no longer walk the earth? Yeah, I'll be reading this one.
Absolute Promethea vol. 1
Written by Alan Moore, art by J.H. Williams III and Mick Gray
Promethea is a darned good series. Not only is it Alan Moore's ultimate statement on magic, religion, art, and the nature of reality, it also features some of the best art ever to sport word balloons. (Have I mentioned lately that I own the original art for the Moebius strip page from #15? Sorry-- I periodically need to brag about that.) So I'm pretty excited about the prospect of this series getting the oversized, super-deluxe Absolute treatment. What I'm not pleased about is doing it in three volumes instead of two-- compare this volume (twelve issues and 328 pages) to the first volume of Absolute Sandman (20 issues and 612 pages)-- both with the same $99 price tag. I'd hope for a slightly higher page count-- but it's hard to complain too much, given how great Promethea is going to look in this format. [See also: Absolute Death. Which sounds like a metal compilation, doesn't it?]
I Did It His Way: Classic B.C. Religious Strips
Thomas Nelson Books
by Johnny Hart
How can I put this diplomatically? I've always... been a non-fan... of Johnny Hart's religious strips. (And his non-religious ones, for that matter.) I'm tempted to read this book, if only to try to decide once and for all if their worst crime is being simplistic, offensive, or just plain unfunny.
Neil Gaiman Presents: Votan
Dark Horse Comics
by John James
Not-actually-comics alert! The "Neil Gaiman Presents" series is "devoted to returning to print long-unavailable works... chosen by Gaiman to represent the origins of his views on classic heroic literature." This one sounds like a pretty good satire; it's the story of a traveling Greek nobleman who is mistaken for a Norse god, and decides to play along.
Sword of My Mouth #1
Written by Jim Munroe, art by Shannon Gerard
Like Oeming's The Rapture above, this might be another exception to the general overdonneness of the (did I mention it's not scriptural, but was invented in the 19th century?) Rapture as a plot device. It's a sequel to Munroe's acclaimed-and-I-haven't-read-it-yet-but-I-want-to story from last year, Therefore, Repent! I've made an interlibrary loan request for the beginning of the story; if it's good I will definitely be checking out this sequel.